How a Commercial Vehicle Differs from a Passenger Vehicle
Texas, with its oil, gas, and manufacturing industries, is home to a huge number of commercial trucks. With over 13,000,000 registered in 2020 alone, Texas is second only to California in the number of commercial vehicles on the road. With the recent federal law allowing drivers as young as 18 to operate commercial vehicles, this number will likely continue to grow.
With this statistic comes an increased risk of truck accidents. In 2020, Texas saw over 32,000 commercial vehicle-involved accidents, with over 1,000 suspected serious injuries as a result. Laredo has seen fatal accidents involving semi trucks as recently as December 21, when a passenger vehicle skidded into the rear end of a tractor-trailer. If you have been involved in one such crash, which can result in substantial medical debt and vehicle repair bills, you are likely wondering about your legal options.
The Texas auto accident attorneys at Carabin Shaw have extensive experience helping clients obtain settlements after accidents with working vehicles. For more information about our services, call 1-800-862-1260 and set up a free case review and initial consultation. Our English- and Spanish-speaking team is available 24/7 to take your calls.Are Large Trucks More Dangerous Than Cars?
An accident with a semi truck is much more likely to have severe consequences than a crash with another passenger vehicle. In fact, the majority of fatal passenger vehicle accidents involve large trucks. The obvious difference in size and weight is only one example of how a commercial vehicle differs from a passenger vehicle.
There are several other factors that make large trucks much more hazardous than cars, including:
- Larger blind spots
- Longer stopping distances
- Cargo, which may be improperly secured
- Increased risk of tire blowouts
- Increased damage for a passenger vehicle that rear-ends a semi truck if the latter has stopped short
Exercising extra caution and practicing defensive driving when sharing the road with a commercial truck can help minimize the risk of a collision. However, negligent driving on behalf of the truck driver can still cause a crash. If you have been injured in a cargo vehicle accident in Laredo, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim.Should My Claim Name the Truck Driver or Their Company?
The majority of commercial truck drivers work for a trucking company rather than owning and operating their own vehicle. This means that, if their accident occurred while they were on the job, it is possible that the company could be held liable for the accident.
Texas’ House Bill 19 states that an individual truck driver must be found liable for an accident before their employer can be tried. This means that your claim will initially target the driver, but, if it is successful, you and your attorney will have to determine whether or not to also pursue action against their employer. Some ways that negligence on the part of a trucking company can lead to accidents, leaving them vulnerable to legal action, include:
- Failing to properly inspect and maintain vehicles
- Failing to ensure that all drivers have the proper certification
- Failing to ensure that drivers do not have a history of reckless driving or driving under the influence
- Overworking drivers, including forcing them to forego federally-mandated break periods, which can lead to fatigue
An attorney with experience in Laredo working vehicle accident settlements can help you determine who to name in your claim.Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Laredo
The legal team at Carabin Shaw specializes in assisting clients who have been seriously injured in crashes with commercial vehicles. Our contingency agreements mean that you will not be responsible for any legal fees unless you receive a settlement, giving you accessible legal services at no financial risk.
To learn more about our practice, see Carabin Shaw’s client reviews. You can also schedule a free consultation by calling 800-862-1260.